The floods in Libya were caused by Storm Daniel, not HAARP

By: Christian Haag
September 14 2023

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The floods in Libya were caused by Storm Daniel, not HAARP

Source: TikTok/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts


The Verdict False

Torrential rains caused the floods in Libya. HAARP cannot affect weather or create natural disasters.

Claim ID 8f6f004c


On September 12, Storm Daniel made landfall in Libya and caused massive floods. Local media has reported over 5,000 killed and 10,000 missing. Large parts of the eastern coastal city of Derna have been devastated by the storms after dams broke.

In the wake of the floods, false claims have circulated on social media. One predominant claim is that the floods in Libya were caused by HAARP, a research facility in Alaska studying the ionosphere. HAARP has been the target of many conspiracy theories, claiming it can facilitate natural disasters and affect the weather.

Examples of the claims can be seen here and here

However, the claim is false. 

In fact

Storm Daniel caused the floods due to heavy rains, not HAARP. The World Meteorological Society reports that torrential rains caused flash floods in several cities, and the city of Al-Bayda received 414.1 mm of rain during 24 hours. In Derna, old dams collapsed from the amount of water that swept away entire neighborhoods. Before reaching Libya, the storms caused floods in Greece, Turkey, and Bulgaria. 

Storm Daniel began as a low-pressure weather system that was blocked by a high-pressure system, which caused heavy amounts of rain to fall onto Greece and then Libya. It drew energy from the warm seawater of the Mediterranean, likely due to global warming. Daniel has been dubbed a Medicane, an abbreviation for Mediterranean Hurricane, the location and hurricane-like characteristics. 

HAARP, or the High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program, cannot cause or engineer storms or other natural phenomena. The facility is located in Alaska and comprises many antennas that use high-frequency transmissions to study the ionosphere, the boundary between the Earth's lower atmosphere and the vacuum of space.

Robert McCoy, director of the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska, told Climate Feedback that the high-frequency transmissions are relative to shortwave radio, and the amount of high-energy frequency from radio would exceed the transmissions from HAARP. The transmission only causes a small effect on the ionosphere for a few seconds and is used for a few hours every year. The research installation has no capability of affecting or creating natural phenomena such as storms. 

 Similar claims have been fact-checked by Logically Facts before, such as HAARP causing the earthquake in MoroccoTurkey, and Syria in 2023 or that HAARP is used to accelerate climate change through global weather modification.

The verdict

Since HAARP cannot affect or create weather or natural disasters, and rain brought by Storm Daniel caused the floods, we have marked this claim as false. 

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